Cafe O Pancakes Fall Flat

In Food, Hong Kong, Pancakes on January 17, 2011 by triotriotrio

Imagine a steaming stack of fluffy pancakes. On top there is buttery goodness mixed with flowing golden maple syrup. As this monument settles all the components begin to mingle together to form a new concoction of flavors and textures.

Place this image in your mind, and the direct opposite is what I experienced this morning as I began my quest to find the best pancakes in Hong Kong.

Perhaps this is an example of lost in translation and my journey will only bring me disappointment? Every element of today’s stack tells me that emulation of the pancake without understanding the pancake is a recipe for disaster. I identify here three core elements that make the pancake experience:

Temperature: pancakes should be hot. This seems easy enough since some people refer to them as hotcakes. But instead I was served a product that was lukewarm.

Fluffy with a crispy outer coating: I am not positive but I believe these pancakes were prepared by steaming them. Thus there was no sear mark on either side. And instead of a slight rise that occurs when cakes sizzle on the grill these cakes were flat and dense. The texture was rubbery with no air pockets within the mixture.

Maple Syrup: There is no substitute. Instead these pancakes were served with clear simple syrup. I didn’t measure but the total volume was about three tablespoons. I don’t like pancakes overflowing with syrup but this amount was insufficient. The staff also tired to push some plain yogurt off on me. No thank you.

I would like to point out that there were several elements done well. First, the pancakes were made with rice flour. I liked the taste. It brought a new element that made me think beyond the norm. But the lack of glutton may have also been its undoing? Second, there was a blueberry compote served on the side that was excellent. It had a nice mix of blueberries and sauce and it was HOT.

Like many explorers that have come before me I am focused on one thing. But I do not search for gold or the Fountain of Youth, I am in search of the perfect pancake. Thus my journey must continue here. I will continue to search out for the elusive stack that fulfills my quest. I hope you will join me on this journey.


2 Responses to “Cafe O Pancakes Fall Flat”

  1. Bummer – I can always send over a care package with a little cinnamon geyser if you need it. I also understand Maine has wonderful maple syrup…hmmm & mmmm!

  2. Maybe this can be your niche in Hong Kong – creator of the first authentic American pancake joint!

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